How to Eat Healthy?
How to eat healthy is a big question and a very controversial one at that, because you are likely to get so many different answers from different groups of people in the society. While the celebrities and models whose looks and sizes we are trying to achieve preach us to cut sugar, fat and carbs; but is that really healthy? Experts suggest some ways to eat healthy so let’s take a look at them-
- First and foremost advice given by nutritionist is to count your calories. But is that really the way? Some say that it will help us analyze our food intake but it can affect some people psychologically as well especially at risk groups. So I would suggest start by slowly analyzing your food choices instead of jumping straight to the counting the calories.
- Do not cut out or eliminate any food group completely. This is biggest and most important tip and advice anybody can give. Never completely eliminate food like sugar, carbohydrate and fats in fear of gaining weight because it does not work and it makes you crave it more and completely ruins any progress you make in your food choices. Celebrities who support or advice you to do this are lying straight to your faces because this does not make you lose weight!
- The third most given advice is to replace processed foods with healthier options. I completely agree with this rule. Try to choose healthier options while shopping for grocery or while reaching for the bag of chips to snack on. Instead of chips, Cheetos or any other snack try fresh fruits or smoothies, it has lesser calories, is equally tasty and makes you feel fuller for quite a long time.
LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT REALLY IS CONSIDERED AS HEALTHY EATING?
Healthy eating is not about restriction, limitation or elimination of any food you eat. You don’t have to earn your food by exercising for it or by restricting your other cravings. It should not feel a big task or so complicated to eat healthy. It really should be some small changes you bring into your day to day lives. Here are some tips to eat healthy-
- Add fruits and vegetables to your meals and as snacks.
- Read the nutrition labels on foods before you buy them.
- When you eat out, be aware of hidden fats and larger portion sizes.
- Staying hydrated is important for good health. Drink zero- or low-calorie beverages, such as water or tea.
- Avoid fried food opt for baked, grilled or roasted food.
- Do not eat less or starve to stay thin. Listen to your body it needs the energy to work properly. So, consume at least 1500 calories in a day.
- Add fiber in your diet.
Add dry fruits, nuts and seeds like Chia seed, Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Many diets like keto promote leaving out one category of food and replacing it with other, but the best way to eat healthy is to eat a balanced diet comprising of each category of food like protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Each of these elements is important and has various functions in our body. While protein is essential for our muscles, carbs and fats are responsible for providing us with energy to carry out our day to day tasks, fibers are important for proper functioning digestive system and vitamins and minerals keep us healthy and away from various diseases.
WHY CHOOSE TO EAT HEALTHY?
The biggest question of all is why should we eat healthy? There lot of benefits for eating healthy let us take a look at them-
- A healthy diet can help prevent disease and make you healthier
- Food choices affect your mood and mental health
- Improved digestion.
- weight loss or gain
- Healthier skin and hair.
FOOD AND MOOD
When we consider the connection between the brain and the gut, it’s important to know that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut. So the food we eat majorly affects our mood. It is also noticed that some people with unhealthy eating pattern and eating issues have mood swings and can be easily triggered which can affect their mental health. It is therefore recommended to people suffering from depression to eat better and healthy. So here is a list of mood boosting food-
- Fish like salmon are packed with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Seeds and nuts like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc. and nuts like almonds, walnuts, etc. are very healthy to eat.
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi( fenugreek), etc. These foods are packed with vitamins and boost your mood.
- Fresh fruits like berries, mangoes, etc. They are an easy snack and better than packed food.
- Lentils, beans and soaked sprouts. These are the easiest and healthiest breakfast option available. Lentils are packed with proteins and vitamins and are very healthy.
- Eggs are an excellent source of protein.
- Avocados are very healthy and nutritious.
- Yoghurts are very healthy and have probiotic properties and are often consumed when people suffer from stomach related issues.
- Fresh vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Vegetable like broccoli are very good source of plant based protein.
When feeling blue, you may crave calorie-rich, high sugar foods like ice cream or cookies to try to lift your spirits. While this might give you a sugar rush, it’s unlikely to help you in the long term — and may have negative consequences as well. Instead, you should aim for wholesome foods that have been shown to not only boost your mood but also your overall health. Try out some of the foods above to kick-start your positivity routine.
EATING HEALTHY IN AN INDIAN HOUSEHOLD
If you are Indian then eating healthy is the biggest challenge for you as Indian food is loaded with oil and spices. Not just food Indian mothers and grandmothers are the biggest roadblock in healthy eating. According to Indian mothers eating boiled vegetables is for sick people and if someone is looking thinner then they aren’t eating enough and healthy people should have food rich in ghee and masala! All I can recommend for you is that try to avoid fried and junk food and sweets and try to educate your mother in your healthier choices and ask them to join you in this journey of healthy eating!